EPA's Region 6 Office
Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations
We Can All Do Our Part
We all release greenhouse gases through the choices we make in our daily living. See how you can reduce greenhouse gases emissions through simple things you can do at home, at the office, on the road, and at school. EPA also provides a personal emissions calculator, and a greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator so you can see how your efforts make a difference.
There is More to Our Carbon Footprints than Energy Efficiency
When we think about ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint, reducing fossil fuel usage through energy efficiency usually tops the list. Although improving energy efficiency is the cheapest and most direct path toward reducing our carbon footprints, there are other green measures that also directly affect to our carbon usage. These include recycling and water conservation.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
A great deal of fossil fuels are used in the extraction, transportation, and industrial processing of virgin materials into the products we buy. Doing your part to reduce your material consumption and what you throw away, reusing what you already have or buying second hand, and recycling will further reduce your carbon footprint. Why recycle? Because, although reprocessing recycled materials into new products still requires energy, in most cases, it is much less than starting with virgin raw materials. Recycling also reduces the waste load to landfills and avoids emissions caused by decomposition, such as methane, which is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2. Read about the link between recycling and climate change. Recycling paper products further avoids the harvesting of trees, which act as carbon sinks. Go here for basic information about recycling and its many benefits to the environment.
How Can I Recycle?
State programs are a good place to start in your quest to recycle. Also, the National Recycling Coalition bills itself as “the largest national nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of recycling, waste prevention, composting, and reuse,” and provides a convenient map that provides links to State recycling programs. EPA offers a wealth of guidance on various recycling topics to State and local governments on starting and managing a recycling program.
How do I get a recycling program started in my community?
EPA Region 4 has just developed a Recycling Toolkit for Municipal Governments. Still need help? Contact EPA Region 6's Recycling Coordinator Deanna DeBose at 214-665-6461 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Water Conservation and Climate Change
We know that heating water takes energy, but did you know that every time you turn on a water faucet, you use energy? In fact, running the cold water faucet for five minutes uses about enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours. EPA’s WaterSense program provides information on how you can conserve water at home and at work.
Green Energy Choices
Electricity suppliers in almost all States now offer green power to their residential customers. You can often buy green power directly from your current utility, or from a green-power company of your choice. If you live in Texas, you can visit the Public Utility Commission of Texas' site PowertoChoose. Otherwise, use the Department of Energy's interactive map to determine whether you can buy green power in your state through your utility or a green-power company. Or call your utility to ask about green-power options in your area.